The Montane is a simple, top-zip pack intended to be a light (873g) and versatile companion for mountain-oriented use.
The harness comprises a frame of laminated, moulded foam that’s supported by a narrow sheet of plastic – a conventional approach that’s foolproof and hardwearing. Thin, but wide and flexible contoured shoulder straps and waistbelt secure the pack comfortably and stably, but without the heavily shaped form of some modern packs. The immediate benefit of this is ease of packing – because the pack’s frame and compartment do not have a strong shape bias, you can easily fit different kinds of gear.
I used this pack for day trips, carrying a heavy load of lenses, camera body, tripod, water and warm clothing, and found it excellent for purpose. It would be a good all-round pack for overnight mountain bike trips, runs, tramps and climbing or cragging use.
Two ice tools or trekking poles can be carried via a discrete attachment system, and a sturdy grab handle on the top of the pack makes portage easy.
Stability was no issue and with a heavy load on rough terrain, the pack remained comfortable and secure on my back – mostly due to the shoulder straps and waistbelt, which conform well to the body. The waistbelt has a pocket on one side – sized for a phone or snack – and racking/tool holster on the other side.
I like that the base of the pack has a double layer of fabric. A hydration sleeve, hose access port, water bottle/snow stake pockets and compression straps round out the deal to create a very reasonably priced go-to pack that comes highly recommended.